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Optimizing Call Center Staffing using Simulation and Analytic Center Cutting Plane Methods

Julius Atlason (jatlason***at***umich.edu)
Marina Epelman (mepelman***at***umich.edu)
Shane Henderson (sgh9***at***cornell.edu )

Abstract: We present a simulation-based analytic center cutting plane method to solve a sample average approximation of a call center problem of minimizing staffing costs, while maintaining an acceptable level of service in multiple time periods. We establish convergence of the method when the service level functions are discrete pseudoconcave. An extensive numerical study of a moderately large call center shows that the method is robust, and, in most of the test cases, outperforms traditional staffing heuristics that are based on analytical queuing methods.

Keywords: Simulation optimization, ACCPM, call centers

Category 1: Other Topics (Optimization of Simulated Systems )

Category 2: Integer Programming (Cutting Plane Approaches )

Category 3: Applications -- OR and Management Sciences (Scheduling )

Citation: Technical Report 04-09, University of Michigan, Industrial and Operations Engineering, 1205 Beal Ave., Ann Arbor, MI 48105, August 2004

Download: [PDF]

Entry Submitted: 08/05/2004
Entry Accepted: 09/01/2004
Entry Last Modified: 07/20/2005

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